Making your own liqueur is both simple and rewarding. It tastes great on its own but you can also use it in cocktails. This rhubarb liqueur is sweet, pink and alcoholic: everything it needs to be.
People not familiar with liqueur, might confuse it with liquor. While those two words are very similar, they refer to two different kinds of drinks. Liquor is a drink with a high alcohol content, usually distilled. Liqueur is a liquor which has sugar and flavouring added to it. In the US it’s sometimes referred to as cordial or schnapps as well.
Liqueur actually started life as a medicine. In the early Middle Ages, monks would add herbs to alcohol, to extract their medicinal properties. Because the resulting concoction didn’t always taste very nice, they started adding sugar. From there, liqueur evolved into a beverage drunk for pleasure. It’s not exactly known as a health drink these days!
Modern liqueurs have three main components: alcohol, sugar and flavouring. You can find liqueurs in just about any flavour you can think of. (We bought a bottle of asparagus liqueur once… not our best decision ever, I might add.) Fruit liqueurs are always a popular choice. They’re make through a process called “maceration“. A method that sounds a lot more complicated than it is. You basically just add all your ingredients together and let it soak for a while. For this reason, fruit liqueurs are very easy to make at home.
Despite the fact that rhubarb can taste very sour, our rhubarb liqueur is actually pretty sweet. With its pretty pink colour, it might look very innocent. The amount of alcohol in it however, certainly isn’t! The juices from the rhubarb of course lowered the original alcohol content of the vodka a bit. But it is still wise to drink this liqueur in small quantities.